When people hear that Rye Brook doesn’t have a proper village, they sometimes wrinkle their nose. Here’s why they shouldn’t: the Rye Ridge Shopping Center packs more in its bricked-retail storefronts than most other villages in Westchester.
“It just exploded,” says Lisa Teich, a broker at Houlihan Lawrence in Rye, who takes advantage of all that it offers. “There’s a Balducci’s grocery store, gyms, restaurants, a smoothie spot. We have everything, and that’s drawing people here.”
She’s right. As someone who lives in Westchester, we can say that the shopping center makes us swoon. After Soul Cycle, Ripped Fit, a grueling session at SLT or a sweaty session at Bikram Yoga, all situated a few doors away from each other, women in yoga pants line up at Organic Pharmer for a ginger shot or green juice, or they run to Chopt for a salad. Not that there aren’t other options. The Dig Inn, a healthy living transplant from Manhattan, opened recently, serving up grain bowls and salads sourced from local farmers. There’s also Fortina (gourmet wood-fired pizzas), Buddha, a hibachi restaurant, soon-to-open Cava Grill, and Chipotle, good for take-out in a pinch. LV2BFIT, a fashion fitness boutique, and Lester’s are a couple of Rye Ridge’s most popular shops.
Kids love Rye Ridge Shopping Center, too. Songs for Seeds, a new music program for wee ones, is a must for new residents. Nearby in Port Chester, many residents also take their kids to Kids U, a tumbling program for kids up to 3 years old.
A fairly small town, Rye Brook, which despite the name is not part of neighboring Rye, borders Purchase, Harrison, Port Chester and Greenwich. The homes, mostly developed in the 1950s and 60s, tend to be split-levels and colonials. They also tend to be more affordable than other parts of Westchester, says Teich, because the lots tend to be smaller. The median price of a single family home is $935,000.
Of the twenty-six homes on the market right now, there’s a two bedroom, 1,200 square foot home in The Arbors, a townhouse community, selling for $539,000, while a 4 bedroom in the Belle Fair Community has 4,000 square feet and is priced at $1,179,000; the latter community has amenities like an onsite day care center, indoor/outdoor pool and shuttle to the Port Chester train station. A new development called The Enclaves features semi-detached homes with 3 bedrooms, a little under 3,000 square feet, for $1,495,000.
“There is so much demand right now,” says Lisa. “I think because you can get a really cute house for under a million dollars.”
The interest in the town is thanks to the schools, which are consistently rated among the best by Newsweek. The tiny district of Blind Brook pulls only from Rye Brook, making the district small compared with larger communities like Scarsdale and Chappaqua. There are 1,200 kids in grades K through 12, with one elementary school feeding into a middle school and then a high school. It fosters a feeling of closeness among neighbors, and makes residents feel like they’re part of a larger community.
“I love the tight knit feel,” says Samantha Smith, a mother of young children in the area (and also an agent at Houlihan Lawrence). “It’s nice to know you can call someone to pick up one of your children if you can’t. If you’re sick, someone will drop by with chicken soup.”
One of the other perks about Rye Ridge is how central it is. Fashionable shopping in downtown Greenwich is ten minutes away. You can be at the beach in Rye in five. Port Chester, with its Mario Batali-run Tarry Market and Tarry Lodge, is even closer. “Rye Ridge is right near the historic Capitol Theater, which is drawing really great acts,” says Teich, of the concert venue. “The movies are there, the deck at Bar Taco.”
Says Teich: “It’s all right here.